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Are you a Medicare member? Visit rhodeahead.com/medicare.

Are you a Medicare member? Visit rhodeahead.com/medicare.

Who’s Who in Healthcare

You may receive care from a number of different medical professionals, who work together to help you stay healthy. Here’s a look at who they are and what they do.

Primary care providers:

  • Give regular check-ups.
  • Provide care for illnesses, most chronic conditions, and minor injuries.
  • Refer to specialists when needed and coordinate care with specialists.
  • Include physicians such as family doctors, internists, pediatricians, and geriatricians.
  • May also be a nurse practitioner or physician assistant.

Nurse practitioners:

  • May serve as a primary care provider or work with specialists.
  • Work with a doctor to give medical care.
  • Focus on a specific area of nursing, such as pediatrics or family practice.
  • Give a wide range of healthcare services and write prescriptions.

Physician assistants:

  • May serve as a primary care provider or work with specialists.
  • Work closely with a doctor to give medical care.
  • Give a wide range of healthcare services and write prescriptions.

Case managers:

  • May be a nurse, social worker, or behavioral health professional.
  • Assist with difficult medical issues or illnesses that require ongoing care, like diabetes.
  • Work with doctors to help you follow treatment plans.
  • Help you find useful services through your plan and the community.

Behavioral health professionals:

  • Treat emotional and mental health, including drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Include social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and some nurse practitioners.
  • Include psychiatrists as well, who are also medical doctors.

Specialists:

  • Include medical doctors with special training in one part or system of the body, such as cardiologists (heart doctors).
  • Include medical professionals such as physical therapists and optometrists.
  • May treat certain illnesses, such as oncologists who treat patients with cancer.

Pharmacists:

  • Are medication experts.
  • Answer questions you have about your medications.
  • Give you advice on how to take your medication.
  • Can work with you and your doctor to help you find less expensive medications.